Sunday, November 4, 2012

At Every Turn by Anne Mateer

The plot was not all that exciting. A young woman, Alyce, hears a visiting missionary at church and is moved to pledge money for their support – a large amount of money. When her wealthy father will not come through with the money, she has to come up with an idea to gather the amount in just a few weeks. Even when she does acquire a few hundred dollars for the cause she ends up giving it away to someone in need.
Then she has an amazing idea. It's 1916 and not many women drive. But Alyce loves to drive, and drive fast. Her father has a mechanic who is building a racing car. She convinces the mechanic to let her be the driver in the upcoming race. She'll have to hide her identity because women, drivers or not, are not allowed on the racing track.
So the plot was not so exciting. Just the plot would have made for a novella or short story. In fact, I thought the plot development was slow much of the time.

The strength of the novel was the character portrayal. The characters are developed well. There is some built in antagonism as two men want Alyce's affection. The one thing I didn't like about Alyce as a character was that, even though she is very adventurous, she was kind of dumb when it came to figuring out people. Perhaps there were too many hints, but I knew who the bad guy was long before Alyce did. I don't like it when I am smarter than the heroine. It is frustrating to continue reading.
I found the second half of the book was better than the first half. And one does learn a bit about early car racing.
It is an OK read, nothing fantastic.

Anne Mateer has a passion for history and writing historical fiction. You can find out more about her at

Bethany House (a division of Baker Publishing Group), 317 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for the purpose of this review.

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